|COP poll August 20 ...despite legal action |
RICHARDSON DHALAI Sunday, August 13 2017
The election for a new political leader of the Congress of the People (COP) is scheduled to take place on August 20 despite the party having received a notice of legal action against the candidacy of Nicole Dyer-Griffith.
Questions surrounding the legitimacy of Dyer- Griffith’s candidacy had been previously cited to prevent the election from being held on July 9.
The other two candidates are Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan and Dr Sharon Gopaul- McNicol.
In a brief interview yesterday, general secretary Clyde Weatherhead said the party had the relevant mechanisms in place including the location of polling stations and ballot papers for the election.
“We have polling stations in place and the ballots are being printed as we speak,” he said.
Asked about the legal action which had been filed in the High Court and whether this would cause the election to be postponed again, he said tersely: “I would not be able to discuss that.” Outgoing political leader Dr Anirudh Mahabir, also in a brief interview, deferred comment saying the party had issued a media statement on Thursday and would not comment further.
In a media release, the party stated that legal action had been filed in the High Court by COP member Kirt Francis against Mahabir and Weatherhead.
The COP stated that attorneys acting on their behalf had written “rejecting demands” made in the legal proceedings which also sought to prevent 34 other members from voting in the election.
“In refusing, to agree to those demands, attorneys for Mahabir and Weatherhead, also began advancing arguments in opposition to Francis’ threat to seek injunctions to prevent the election from proceeding as decided by a general membership meeting of COP members on July 23 which was part of an agreement with Francis arising out of his first pre-action protocol letter which caused the postponement of the July 9 polling day,” the COP stated.
The party continued: “There seems to be a concerted effort to prevent the COP from holding elections and continuing to build itself as a real alternative to the established political parties.”